Gina K. Lewis shares info about Hello! A Welcoming Story to support refugee children from Ukraine, on The Table Read, “The Best entertainment magazine in the UK“.
Hello! A Welcoming Story is a key resource for the nation’s teachers and counselors charged with welcoming the influx of young Ukrainian refugees who will soon be in our classrooms.
This book donation campaign will get it into thousands of schools and libraries quickly.
Child Refugees from Ukraine
More than 2 million Ukrainians have fled seeking safety in the wake of the Russian invasion, more than half of them children. These children will soon be entering classrooms in new communities. They will feel out of place, overwhelmed, and strange.
Their new classmates may not understand where they are from and what they have been through. Teachers and counselors are searching for ways to help them feel accepted and understood.
Meeting this need is the goal of Hello! A Welcoming Story and the Welcome Ukrainian Refugees Book Donation Campaign.
Hello! A Welcoming Story
Cleverly disguised as a two-in-one picture book, Hello! A Welcoming Story tells the powerful story of refugee children from two points of view: through the eyes of the newcomers and through the eyes of their new classmates.
All students read both perspectives and arrive at the common, joyful centerfold: “We build bridges.” The characters navigate the challenges of displacement together. When all students see the experience through both points of view, the empathy needed for genuine acceptance and inclusion is fostered.
To get this important tool into the hands of as many teachers and counselors as quickly as possible, City of Light has launched a Welcome Ukrainian Refugees Book Donation Campaign which invites people in communities everywhere to purchase copies of Hello! A Welcoming Story and donate them to their local schools.
A portion of the proceeds of these purchases will benefit the UN Refugee Agency’s Ukraine Emergency Fund (UNHCR).
Gina K. Lewis
Author Gina K. Lewis is an English as a New Language (ENL) teacher who has worked with hundreds of children from around the world. The insights shared by her students provide a solid foundation for the social-emotional learning underpinnings of Hello! A Welcoming Story.
“Every once in a while, in the classroom we were able to have these incredibly unscripted moments where the children shared stories of their lives and I got to peek into where they were coming from and how they ended up here. In some of these moments a child would share their story… I could see a fire being lit inside them when a classmate connected to their story. I could see a burden was lifted off them.”
She then orchestrated in her classroom precisely the type of inclusion and acceptance that her book models. Peruvian illustrator María José Campos brought both her personal experience and her amazing artistic skills to the project.
Empathy, if learned as a child, may well carry over into adulthood. For more information about Hello! A Welcoming Story, click here. For information about the Welcome Ukrainian Refugees Book Donation Campaign, click here.
About City of Light Publishing
City of Light Publishing was founded on the belief that we can all be a light in the world. Some of the best ways to be a light are to read books, share books, and give books. We also know that empathy fosters understanding of new ideas and new perspectives—and it drives us to connect with one another. Make a difference. Be a light!
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